2009 KTM 250 sx Review
The Rider: Expert
You’re thinking “why is he writing a review about a 2009 KTM 250 sx!?” Let me answer that: You and others buy used bikes and want to know about how these bikes hold up and more on these bikes. Second, the 2012 has a different chassis and linkage, however, the motor is almost identical to the 2009 KTM. KTM makes small improvements each year rather than huge changes, so the same engine and general suspension are some of the many pieces to the 2012 250sx puzzle. I could get carried away and talk about the changes made each model year, but it’s time to focus on the story of this bike.
After thumping around on four strokes for years, training and racing all over the U.S. and Canada, I got a chance to ride my first 250 2 stroke. In September of 2008 I tried out a 2007 KTM 250 sx and I was so impressed by the bike I decided I needed to find one for myself. I couldn’t believe how smooth the motor was and how light it felt. I had never ridden a 250 2 stroke before; in my head I pictured brutal power and no tractability whatsoever. When I first cracked the throttle and was ready for the rear to spin in front of my visor, and it didn’t, I as thrilled. I was ten feet further down the track than I had expected to be. It was a delight, one I wanted to enjoy more.
I began searching. I found a brand new 2009 in October and started riding. This bike was awesome. It had a super light feel to it, turned well, and had an amazing motor. The carburetion on this bike was also very precise, it was almost like it had efi. It ran clean; never too rich and never too lean. Needing no jetting changes no matter what the conditions. The first problem I had was a crack in the exhaust pipe, I took it to work and had it welded no big deal. Not too long after that cracked, my silencer fell apart and I ordered an FMF system. Around this time, the bike probably had about 30 hours on it. I started to notice moisture around my spark plug. I rode it for a while not really knowing what the problem was. I took the spark plug out and didn’t notice anything. Towards the end of May – Early June I decided to put a top end in the bike (piston came out looking like the bike had barely been ridden) but I noticed a small crack in the cylinder head. This is where things get frustrating. KTM had come out with an updated head and it was on back order. It took me about a month to get. This was sooo frustrating.
I went through a lot of pipes and silencers on this bike; seemed no matter what the silencer would break in some way and no matter how often you changed exhaust O-rings the exhaust would crack (you’d probably have to change them almost weekly). Sometimes the exhaust companies would warranty the stuff, other times not so lucky. The main thing that got on my nerves was the down time this caused. Sure I had some problems but, I had over 100 hours of great riding on this bike and really enjoyed it. This is saying a lot because usually I get so sick of stuff breaking on bikes I get rid of them with half this many hours. I rode this bike so much both the front and rear rims were half silver (were originally black). Even with the problems I would say I got my money’s worth out of this bike.
Some other notes: Modifications I tried include suspension and exhaust. For exhaust I tried Stock, FMF SST system, Pro Circuit Exhaust with 304 silencer, stock with 304 silencer, and stock with FMF Powercore 2 silencer. The best all around exhaust for lap times was the Pro Circuit system; it has smooth power and improves the top end a ton. There was no noticeable difference between Pro Circuit and FMF silencers other than the FMF broke quite a bit quicker. The Ohlins TTX suspension was amazing. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the TTX clicker, the setting was very sensitive and had to be changed from track to track to have the right set up. The shock was a bit soft on hard landings and g-outs but worked extremely well everywhere else and I can’t say there were any situations where I wasn’t happy with how the forks worked.
- All around great bike
- Really smooth power
- Seemed to hook up really well especially for what I was expecting out of a 250 2 stroke
- Super light feel
- Super Light (208 pounds)
- Handled well in all aspects – Lightweight allowed it to be thrown into corners, went in straight line well with out much headshake
- Hydraulic clutch – once you get the feel for it you’ll never go back
- This bike held up longer (a year and a half) and for more hours (probably around 100) than any other bike I’ve ever had
- The wheels are very good, I only needed to tighten the spokes once
- Cylinder head cracked
- Updated head took a month to get
- Updated head wasn’t covered under warranty
- OEM silencer blew apart at about 25-30 hrs
- These bikes seem to have an issue with exhaust spring hooks and exhaust mounts cracking at the welds (pro circuit, fmf, and oem)
- The silencer can frequently broken off from the part that attached to the pipe, causing frequent necessary repairs or replacement